Former Manchester United and Everton manager David Moyes is the leading contender to replace Alan Pardew at Newcastle United as uncertainty reigns over the future of the under-fire Toon boss.
The 4-0 defeat to Southampton on Saturday was the club's ninth in their last 12 Premier League matches during a dire run stretching back to March. Newcastle's thrashing saw the odds on Pardew's dismissal plummet.
The latest reports indicate Newcastle owner Mike Ashley is ready to keep faith with Pardew for the Premier League visit of Hull City next weekend, however his patience is beginning to wear thin despite handing the manager an eight-year contract just two years ago.
The Magpies spent in excess of £35m on nine new signings during the summer transfer window but are winless in the league this season.
Moyes, who was unceremoniously sacked by United last April after just eight months in charge having failed to qualify for the Champions League, is the bookmakers' favourite for the role ahead of Hull manager Steve Bruce and former Crystal Palace and Stoke City manager Tony Pulis.
Bruce reached the FA Cup final with Hull last term and helped the club qualify for Europe for the first time in their history but the north-east-born boss has distanced himself from a move.
"I find it very disrespectful that I am linked with somebody else's job when he is still in the job," Bruce told BBC Sport.
"I'm like any other manager, when I see another manager under huge pressure like Alan is - and it was only a few years ago I was in the same sort of situation - it isn't nice.
"After what happened to me at Sunderland I know how difficult the north-east is. I have only been at Hull a couple of years and they have been really good. They gave me the chance to get up and running again and for that I will always be grateful."
Since being handed an eight-year contract in September 2012, Pardew has battled against a tide of controversy at Newcastle.
Following the appointment of Joe Kinnear as head of transfer operations at the club, Pardew was given a seven-game ban for head-butting Hull's David Meyler in March.
Demba Ba and Yohan Cabaye have been sold in successive January transfer windows as Newcastle have slipped towards the wrong end of the Premier League, while a run of seven defeats in the final eight games of last term almost saw the club fail to finish in the top half.
Supporters have also turned on Pardew, with banners being displayed during the loss to Southampton calling for his departure. Former Newcastle striker Micky Quinn says the 53-year-old's days are numbered.
"I think it is over for Pardew," he told talkSPORT. "I think he has taken them as far as he can and, on that performance on Saturday, he has lost the dressing room.
"The fans, when they are on your side, are the best in the world. But if things are not going well, they get frustrated.
"Pardew has been blaming the fans and I was told, when I first went to Newcastle, not to react to the fans and get on the wrong side because then you are finished. And it looks like that for Alan Pardew."